100 Best Bob Dylan Quotes That Are Freewheelin'

Supriya Jain
Dec 12, 2023 By Supriya Jain
Originally Published on Jan 28, 2021
Edited by Flora Wilson
The double cd 'The Essential Bob Dylan', released in 2000, of the Columbia Records series "The Essential" dedicated to the major artists of the company.

This is a compilation of 105 Bob Dylan Quotes and sayings about him.

Bob Dylan’s original name was Robert Allen Zimmerman. He is an American folk singer who moved to rock music in the 1960s who made his breakthrough with the release of 'The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.'

Robert Allen Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan is a lyricist, songwriter, poet, painter and activist. He incorporates social, philosophical and literary influences in his songs. He has also been awarded a Nobel Prize in literature and is the recipient of the presidential medal of freedom and many academy awards.

If you're looking for more quotes why not look at Beatles quotes or Elvis quotes.

Popular Bob Dylan Quotes

Read some of the popular quotes by Bob Dylan that will motivate you and would help you understand the truth behind every beautiful thing.

1. “I define nothing not beauty not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.”

- Bob Dylan

2. “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

- Bob Dylan

3. “Don't criticize what you can't understand.”

- Bob Dylan, 'The times They Are A-Changin'.

4. “And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinking.”

- Bob Dylan, 'A Hard Rain's A- Gonna Fall'.

5. “I think women rule the world and that no man has ever done anything that a woman either hasn't allowed him to do or encouraged him to do.”

- Bob Dylan

6. “No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.”

- And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinking

7. “Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues; you can tell by the way she smiles.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Visions Of Johanna'.

8. “It’s a wicked life, but what the hell, the stars ain’t falling down.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Goin’ to Acapulco'.

9. “Sometimes I think this whole world is one big prison yard. Some of us are prisoners the rest of us are guards.”

- Bob Dylan, 'George Jackson'.

10. “Take me disappearing, through the smoke rings of my mind, down the foggy ruins of time.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Mr. Tambourine Man'.

11. “You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'.

12. “If you need somebody you can trust, trust yourself”

- Bob Dylan, 'Trust Yourself'.

13. “Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed. So, I disappear a lot.”

- Bob Dylan

14. “Peace is the time it takes to reload your rifle.”

- Bob Dylan

15. “Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than those who are most content.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Brownsville Girl'.

16. “There are degrees of happiness. You go from one to the other and then back again. It's hard to be completely happy when those around us are suffering and groaning from hunger.”

Bob Dylan Quotes That Are Motivational

Bob Dylan himself is a very motivated man, read these motivational quotes by him that will change your way of thinking.

Bob Dylan with former president Barack Obama

17. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

- Bob Dylan

18. “People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.”

- Bob Dylan

19. “When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it - don't back down and don't give up - then you're going to mystify a lot of folks.”

- Bob Dylan

20. “You need something to open up a new door, to show you something you seen before but overlooked a hundred times or more”

- Bob Dylan, 'Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie'.

21. “Whatever you do. You ought to be the best at it – highly skilled. It’s about confidence, not arrogance.”

- Bob Dylan

22. “Gotta head full of ideas that are driving me insane...”

- Bob Dylan

23. “If you try to be anyone but yourself, you will fail; if you are not true to your own heart, you will fail. Then again, there's no success like failure.”

- Bob Dylan

24. “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.”

- Bob Dylan

25. “The only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keeping on.”

-  Bob Dylan, 'It’s A Bob Christmas For Halloween'

26. “Every step of the way we walk the line

Your days are numbered, so are mine

Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape

We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape”

- Bob Dylan, 'Mississipi'.

27. “You need something to open up a new door, to show you something you seen before but overlooked a hundred times or more”

- Bob Dylan, 'Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie'

28. “May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay forever young.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Forever Young'

29. “It's always disappointing when people decide for one reason or another that they don't like your work anymore, but you can't try to please people, because then... you might be being a fake about the whole thing.”

- Bob Dylan

30. “Passion rules the arrow that flies.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Dark Eyes'

Bob Dylan Quotes About Life

Bob Dylan is also a deep thinker; he prioritizes self-awareness and to know what things mean more than what a human mind can comprehend normally. He talks a lot about meaning of life, death and the purpose of life. Read these quotes that will change your way of thinking towards life.

31. “Yesterday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight'

32. “At times in my life the only place I have been happy is when I am on stage.”

- Bob Dylan

33. “Anybody can be specific and obvious. That's always been the easy way.”

- Bob Dylan

34. “I change during the course of a day. I wake and I'm one person, and when I go to sleep, I know for certain I'm somebody else.”

- Bob Dylan

35. “A lot of people say there is no happiness in this life, and certainly there’s no permanent happiness. But self-sufficiency creates happiness. Happiness is a state of bliss.”

- Bob Dylan

36. “Destiny is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does.

The picture you have in your own mind of what you’re about WILL COME TRUE. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that all inside.”

- Bob Dylan

37. “I’ve never been able to understand the seriousness of it all, the seriousness of pride. People talk, act, live as if they’re never going to die. And what do they leave behind? Nothing. Nothing but a mask.”

- Bob Dylan

38. "Passion is a young man’s game. Young people can be passionate. Older people gotta be wiser. I mean, you’re around awhile, you leave certain things to the young. Don’t try to act like you’re young. You could really hurt yourself."

- Bob Dylan

39. “It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Idiot Wind'

40. "You’re going to die. You’re going to be dead. It could be 20 years, it could be tomorrow, anytime.

So am I. I mean, we’re just going to be gone. The world’s going to go on without us. All right now. You do your job in the face of that, and how seriously you take yourself you decide for yourself."

- Bob Dylan

41. “The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.”

- Bob Dylan, 'It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue'

42. “I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.”

- Bob Dylan

43. “Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Not Dark Yet'

44. “Gonna change my way of thinking make myself a different set of rules. Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by fools.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Gonna Change My Way of Thinking'

45. “Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Open the Door, Homer'

46. “A mistake is to commit a misunderstanding.”

- Bob Dylan

47. “There is nothing so stable as change.”

- Bob Dylan

48. “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

- Bob Dylan, 'It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)'

49. “Death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast.”

- Bob Dylan

50. “It’s hard to speculate what tomorrow may bring.”

- Bob Dylan

51. “All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Things Have Changed'

52. “I say there are no depressed words just depressed minds.”

- Bob Dylan

53. “Gonna change my way of thinking,

Make myself a different set of rules.

Gonna change my way of thinking,

Make myself a different set of rules.

Gonna put my good foot forward,

And stop being influenced by fools.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Gonna Change My Way of Thinking'

54. “It’s like my whole life never happened, When I see you, it’s as if I never had a thought. I know this dream, it might be crazy, but it’s the only one I’ve got.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Emotionally Yours'

55. “It’s hard to speculate what tomorrow may bring.”

- Bob Dylan

56. “People have different emotional levels. Especially when you’re young.”

- Bob Dylan

57. “I don’t think I’ve ever been an agnostic. I’ve always thought there’s a superior power, that this is not the real world and that there’s a world to come.”

- Bob Dylan

58. “Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.”

- Bob Dylan

59. “If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.”

- Bob Dylan

60. “It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be…”

- Bob Dylan, 'Up to Me'

61. “Beyond here lies nothing’ But the mountains of the past”

-  Bob Dylan, 'Beyond Here Lies Nothin’'

62. “You have to work out where your place is. And who you are. But we’re all spirit. That’s all we are, we’re just walking dressed up in a suit of skin, and we’re going to leave that behind.”

- Bob Dylan

63. “Don’t matter how much money you got, there’s only two kinds of people: there’s saved people and there’s lost people.”

- Bob Dylan

64. “Life has its ups and downs, and time has to be your partner. Really, time is your soul mate.”

- Bob Dylan

65. “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

- Bob Dylan

66. “I don’t think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking there’s some kind of change.”

- Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes About Love

Read the perspective of Bob Dylan about love in the following quotes and sayings.

67. “You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Murder Most Foul'

68. “All right, I’ll take a chance. I will fall in love with you. If I’m a fool you can have the night, you can have the morning too. Can you cook and sew? Make flowers grow? Do you understand my pain? Are you willing to risk it all or is your love in vain?”

- Bob Dylan, 'Is Your Love in Vain'

69. “Done so many evil things in the name of love, it’s a crying shame. I never did see no fire that could put out a flame.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Ain’t No Man Righteous, No Not One'

70. “I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes… Then you’d know what a drag it is to see you.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Positively 4th Street'

71. “What drives me to you, drives me insane.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Isis'

72. “Last night I danced with a stranger, but she just reminded me you were the one.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Standing in The Doorway'

73. “There's beauty in the silver singing river

There's beauty in the sunrise in the sky

but none of these and nothing else can match the beauty

That I remember in my true love's eyes.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time".

Bob Dylan Quotes About Music And Poems

Bob Dylan was a great poet, and he tells people it is his poems that gives him ideas of songwriting. Read these quotes about various arts like poetry and songwriting.

74. “I just don't hear anyone else making the music I'm making in my head, so I'll have to do it myself.”

- Bob Dylan

75. “This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.”

- Bob Dylan, 'This Land is Your Land'

76. “I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I'll die like a poet.”

- Bob Dylan

77. “Here's the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else.”

- Bob Dylan

78. “I became interested in folk music because I had to make it somehow.”

- Bob Dylan

79. “A song is anything that can walk by itself.”

- Bob Dylan

80. “May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Forever Young'

81. “Art is a never ending dance of illusions.”

- Bob Dylan

82. “It’s like a kid standing at the window watching the rain.”

- Bob Dylan

83. “The purpose of art is to stop time.”

- Bob Dylan

84. “You don't necessarily have to write to be a poet. Some people work in gas stations and they're poets. I don't call myself a poet, because I don't like the word. I'm a trapeze artist.”

- Bob Dylan

85. “Some of the old folk singers used to phrase things in an interesting way, and then, I got my style from seeing a lot of outdoor-type poets, who would recite their poetry.

When you don't have a guitar, you recite things differently, and there used to be quite a few poets in the jazz clubs, who would recite with a different type of attitude.”

- Bob Dylan

86. “I think of rock 'n' roll as a combination of country blues and swing band music, not Chicago blues, and modern pop.”

- Bob Dylan

87. “I can picture the color of the song, or the shape of it, or who it is that I'm trying to appeal to, in the song, and what I'm trying to, almost, reinforce my feelings for. And I know that sounds sort of vague and abstract, but I've got a handle on it when I'm doing it.”

- Bob Dylan

88. “People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around - the music and the ideas.”

- Bob Dylan

89. “My songs always sound a lot better in person than they do on the record.”

- Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes About Politics

Bob Dylan was a social activist too. Many of his songs were inspired by war, struggles and what not. Do read his political views in the following quotes.

90. “Democracy don't rule the world, you’d better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that's better left unsaid.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Union Sundown'

91. “I've never written a political song. Songs can't save the world. I've gone through all that.”

- Bob Dylan

92. “To live outside the law, you must be honest.”

- Bob Dylan, 'Absolutely Sweet Marie'

93. “The world owes us nothing, each and every one of us, the world owes us not one single thing. Politicians or whoever.”

- Bob Dylan

94. “I don’t expect politicians to solve anybody’s problems. We’ve got to take the world by the horns and solve our own problems.”

- Bob Dylan

Quotes About Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is considered a legend of his era. From the New York times to the every townie, the man is a success.   Do read the other peoples’ views about him in these Bob Dylan quotes.

95. “If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself.”

- Bob Dylan

96. “My favorite Bob Dylan record is the very first one where he sings one Bob Dylan song and the rest of them are his interpretations of the Dust Bowl-era folk songs, or even going back as far as the mass influx of people coming into the U.S. during the gold rush. His interpretations of those songs are incredible.”

- Chris Cornell

97. “When I first heard Bob Dylan, I'll be honest, I didn't like him. But I was shallow of mind and didn't understand the poetry. I just judged him on his singing and his guitar playing.”

-  Jose Feliciano

98. “The most memorable moment was playing drums with Bob Dylan.”

- Jenna Elfman

99. “I think people are 'just creative,' and this can be expressed in a number of ways. Bob Dylan and David Bowie create both music and art.”

- Ronnie Wood

100. “I've met ob Dylan. We did one of those non-handshake handshakes. I was with all guys, and he shook hands with all of them, and then they said, 'And this is Kate,' and I put my hand out, and he didn't put his out.

And then I took my hand away, and he put his out. It was one of those. We finally did shake. And then I fainted!”

- Kate Moss

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Bob Dylan quotes, then why not take a look at Bruce Springsteen quotes, or [Queen quotes].

main image credit: Stefano Chiacchiarini '74 / Shutterstock.com

second image credit: Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Supriya Jain

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Supriya Jain picture

Supriya JainBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.

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